Are Part-time Employees Eligible for Maternity Leave?

August 18, 2015・2 mins read
Are Part-time Employees Eligible for Maternity Leave?

What are Employer obligations relating to maternity leave for part time Employees?

Short answer

It depends on:

  • whether certain requirements are met under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and
  • if there are any state provisions for family leave.

If your part-time employees meet certain conditions, then they could be entitled up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of their child.

Employer coverage

FMLA covers:

  • all local, state, and federal public employers, including public schools
  • private sector employers who have 50 employees or more for at least 20 work weeks in the current or preceding year.

Eligible employees

Employees are covered under FMLA if they:

  • have worked for you for at least 12 months, and
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of their leave, and
  • work at a location with at least 50 employees at that location or within 75 miles of the location

State laws

Certain states have laws that add to the FMLA.

For example, in the state of Washington, a pregnant woman is entitled to the 12 weeks of FMLA, plus any pregnancy disability leave ordered by her healthcare provider. So if a woman in the state of Washington is ordered by her doctor to take 6 weeks off, she can extend her maternity leave by an additional 12 weeks of FMLA, for a total of 18 weeks off.

For additional state-specific resources, you can perform an internet search of law on maternity leave for part-time employees to see if your state has any laws that expand upon the FMLA.

Helpful links:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Website Covering FMLA

Federal Code Covering FMLA

Laws Protecting Pregnant Employees

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